Employee Brand Advocacy: Why Your Brand Needs It & 3 Steps To Get Started

Jan 11, 2023

Brand advocacy is not a new idea, but many brands are still lacking the momentum behind it. As we move into 2023, brand advocacy should be a vital part of your marketing strategy. In fact, according to Edelman Trust Barometer, employee advocacy-related leads converted seven times more often than other types of leads.

At Amendola, we recently had an employee contest to incentive staff to invite friends to “follow” our company page on LinkedIn. This simple, short, three-week campaign proved to be effective and resulted in a 33% increase to our LinkedIn engagements and a net follower growth of 850%. If this alone isn’t enough reason to jump on the employee advocacy band wagon, here are a few more stats that might convince you:

Many of us have heard the Richard Branson phrase, “Take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” When you have employees who are passionate about the company they work for, it’s obvious to outsiders, especially when the employees are active on social media. Organizations in that position have a large, targeted audience that could and should be leveraged.

Your social media and PR strategy should be intertwined, as should your approach to brand advocacy. As you are planning for 2023, find ways to leverage your employees’ networks as part of your marketing efforts. LinkedIn is uniquely positioned for B2B, has a large reach and is a great place to post and find thought leadership. Here are three easy steps to jump-start your efforts, get your employees set up and engaged (or re-engaged) on LinkedIn, and build or amplify your brand.

1: Encourage your employees do a LinkedIn makeover: Provide them with a correctly sized company branded cover photo that they can add to their profile (and make sure to provide updated images if you have a campaign you’re promoting.) Advise them to update their current job to reflect where they work, if they haven’t already. Suggest that they share details about what they do in their current position in the about section – or go one step further and provide them a few options for suggested copy to help get the creative juices flowing.

2: Kick off your advocacy campaign with a contest: Implementing a simple contest, such as sharing company posts, is more likely to get participation than a complicated multi-step process. As employees share posts with their own networks, the company’s posts will become visible in their newsfeeds and attract new views – and it’s likely than many of these new viewers are your target audience. To drive success, don’t forget to offer your employees a worthwhile prize!

3: Make it part of your marketing workflow: Share media hits, important news, and brand posts with staff with a simple link to the LinkedIn post. Alternatively, provide them with recommended copy they can post if they reshare a post. Take it one step further and ask them to “comment” on posts to move them up in the news feed. For any of your company thought leaders with larger, more targeted audiences, this should be a standard workflow any time you have a media hit or a post you’d like amplified.

Encouraging your thought leaders to be active on social can lead to an additional benefit: potential media interviews. Often reporters will search social media to identify thought leaders for interviews. Having an active and updated social media presence provides another layer of credibility for your thought leaders and brand.

The benefits of employee brand advocacy go far beyond boosting your marketing efforts. If you’ve tried to recruit in the last few years, you know just how valuable it is to retain talent. Having engaged employees is known to boost company culture, which leads to happier and more productive employees, and increased talent retention.

Have you started an employee brand advocacy program? If not, make it part of your 2023 plan and watch your social media channels grow.